A First War Canadian Medal Trio to the Little Black Devils
A First War Canadian Medal Trio to the Little Black Devils - Wounded at the Somme - 1914-15 Star (422677 Pte A.E. SHERLOCK. 8/CAN:INF:); British War Medal (422677 PTE. A.E. SHERLOCK. 8-CAN.INF.); and Victory Medal (422677 PTE. A.E. SHERLOCK. 8-CAN.INF.). Naming is officially impressed. Unmounted, cleaned, bruising on the VM, light contact, very fine. Accompanied by fourteen pages with copies of his Index Cards, Attestation Paper, Service Records, Medical Records, Discharge Certificate and Will. Footnote: Alfred Ernest Sherlock was born on March 13, 1880 in Liverpool, England, although his Medical History of an Invalid indicates that it was March 13, 1875. He signed his Attestation Paper on January 18, 1915 in Winnipeg, Manitoba with the 8th Infantry Battalion, "The Black Devils"/"90th Winnipeg Rifles" Reinforcement Unit, naming Mrs. Innes of Winnipeg as his next-of-kin, stating that he had five years' previous service with the 90th Winnipeg Battalion of Rifles (Machine Gun), that he was not married and that his trade was that of Sign Painter. In a second Attestation Paper signed on July 16, 1915 at Shorncliffe, he named his next-of-kin as his brother, George Herbert Sherlock of Toronto, Ontario and his trade as that of Sign Writer. He sailed from Montreal, Quebec aboard the S.S. Grampian on June 1, 1915 and upon arrival in England, was transferred to the 32nd Reserve Battalion on June 11th. After five weeks, he was transferred to the 8th Infantry Battalion on July 17th and was taken on strength by them in France on the 22nd. While in the French theatre, on September 27, 1916, he suffered a gun shot wound (shrapnel) to the neck while in action at the Somme and admitted to No. 14 General Hospital at Wimereux. Two days later, he was transferred to No. 1 Convalescent Depot at Boulogne for further treatment, then discharged after eleven days to Base Details at LeHavre on the 30th. He was invalided to England and placed at the Canadian Casualty Assembly Centre at Shoreham-by-Sea on October 20th, where a Medical Board recommended "convalescence", in order for him to make a full recovery. By the time he was transferred to King's Canadian Red Cross Hospital at Bushy Park on November 2, 1916, he not only was being treated for the gun shot wound to the neck, but also for Neurasthenia (a mechanical weakness of the actual nerves). It was documented on November 7th that he was "Complaining of pains in (his) left side of (his) chest & back" but "Feeling well otherwise" and recovered in a week, enough to enable him to be discharged on the 14th. Sherlock was "on command" to the Garrison Duty Depot at Shoreham on November 18th, then taken on strength at the Canadian Machine Gun Depot at Crowborough to close out the year, on December 30, 1916. Six months later, he was transferred to the Manitoba Regimental Depot at Shorncliife on June 20, 1917. Three weeks later, he was "on command" to the Canadian Training School at Bexhill on July 9th, where he was also awarded a Good Conduct Stripe on the 16th. After thirteen months, he left Bexhall on August 21, 1918 and was eventually taken on strength at the Canadian Discharge Depot at Buxton on September 9, 1918. He was struck off strength on return to Canada on September 23rd. In his Medical History of an Invalid, dated November 4, 1918 at Winnipeg, it carefully notes the scar on the right side of neck, the scar on his back and two scars on his left leg. In addition to suffering the gun shot wound in his neck at the Somme in 1916, it also documents the varicose veins in his left leg, which was impairing the function of his left leg and ankle. As it turns out, this was a pre-existing condition to his enlistment in the CEF. Sherlock "Had varicose veins of left leg and ankles removed in 1914, in order to join the Army. Result fair. There is a recurring varicose condition at seat of old operative scars. No history of injury to ankles." It also went on the explain that the "Patient (was) well nourished and well developed. Appearance of a man between 40 and 45. Complains of occasional pain in left ankle. Aggravated by walking, or after being on his feet all day. Pain is of a shooting nature, coming on quickly and leaving the same way. There is no swelling present." On the positive side, there was no disability in his neck from the gun shot wound and the recommended recovery time for his legs was in the neighbourhood of six months. It was recommended that he be placed in Category C1 (home service, Canada only). Sherlock was discharged as "his services being no longer required" due to the "stoppage of hostilities" on November 28, 1918 at Winnipeg. In his Will, dated March 9, 1917, it stated that "I devise and bequeath all my real estate and personal estate" to his brother, George Herbert Sherlock of Toronto. The Will was never executed, as Sherlock survived the war, a veteran of sixteen months service with the 8th Infantry Battalion in France and Belgium, earning him the Trio.